Nothing rejuvenates the old "thinking machine" like a good vacation away from the office. I must admit I do not do it as often as I should, but whenever I do, I benefit enormously.
Throughout the year, a person busies himself with all the responsibilities that go with his work or vocation. And that's as it should be. But, as a wise man once told me, "All work and no play makes the pastor a very dull preacher." Therefore, to sharpen myself up a little bit I decided to take a week off and practice my loafing skills. (I have a postgraduate degree in loafology.)
By the end of the week, I had sharpened those skills to a razor-sharp edge.
However, I discovered a great drawback to vacations. I had not really thought of it before but my week away from home brought it sharply to the forefront. Although a week away from the office sharpens one's mind, it has an adverse effect on one's stomach.
It is my experience that the mind and the stomach need to be synchronized. This is not to be confused with simonized. Although, there is something to be said for a shiny stomach and a bright mind.
My week went quite well until around Thursday. By then, everything I ate tasted the same. My taste buds were in revolt and my stomach was on the verge of revolting. In fact, there was some indication my stomach was about to toss me some cookies, which are not on my diet. A stomach is a terrible thing to offend. Believe me.
Every restaurant began looking the same and all the food began tasting alike. At Thursday breakfast, I ate half my napkin before realizing it was not my pancake. I poured syrup on the rest of the napkin and ate it.
The coffee that morning tasted like it had been filtered through a pair of my dirty socks. I can drink a lot of coffee and I'm not that particular about my coffee. But really, this coffee was simply awful. If they ever run out of oil, I know where they can get a good supplement for it.
And, it was not just the coffee. I'm not sure where these restaurants get their meat, but I'm positive some of the meat I ate was kangaroo meat. It kept jumping in my stomach all night long.
Perhaps I'm just getting older, but there are some things I just can't stand anymore. One good example is having my food microwaved. In my opinion, microwave cooking kills the taste of everything. Nothing electrocuted can be good for a person. The dangerous thing about having your food microwaved is the deceptive nature of the food. On the outside, it's nice and warm, but on the inside, it is a boiling 1000°F. This is to make sure all the taste buds on your tongue are burnt beyond the ability to taste anything.
Then there is the server who treats you as if you're a tourist. They know they are never going to see you again and are only interested in the biggest tip they can possibly extort from you. I cannot think of anything I need more than an artificial smile put on some person's face just to get inside my wallet.
Then something wonderful happened.
I noticed this the first day but did not give it a second thought. Now, I was giving it more than a second thought.
It was a little restaurant tucked away on the outskirts of town. It did not have any fancy outdoor sign boasting of what they could not produce. In fact, it looked a little rundown. But by this time, my stomach was run over and so I thought I had nothing to lose.
The moment I walked into this little restaurant, I knew my problems were over. The name of the restaurant was "Granny's Kitchen." And right under the name was a phrase that thrilled my heart. "Home cookin’ the way ya like it." And the boast was not empty, neither was my coffee cup.
I entered the restaurant, took my seat and in a moment, the waitress came to my table.
"What ya gonna have, honey." She bubbled.
Before I ordered, I wanted to ask her one question very important to me.
"Do you have a microwave?"
"What's a microwave?"
I was in heaven. I knew I was in a place where I belonged and it did not matter what I ordered it would be just what the stomach needed.
I cannot remember when I enjoyed a meal more than at that little rustic restaurant on the outskirts of town. The more things change the more they stay the same. All these fancy chain restaurants cannot hold a candle to one little country restaurant with home cookin’.
As I affectionately nursed my last cup of coffee, I thought of a favorite verse of scripture. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein." (Jeremiah 6:16 KJV).
Some believe anything new must be better than everything old. Much of the “new and improved” are neither. With wisdom comes a deep appreciation of those things, which are good, regardless of their age. Some things improve with age.